22 February, 1960
Opening of the new Christchurch Airport terminal, designed by Paul Pascoe.
Yesterday, February 22nd, was the third anniversary of the devastating Christchurch earthquake. As is always the case with these sort of milestones, the time frame is hard to comprehend — it seems much more recent and far more distant all at once.
Coincidentally, February 22nd was also the date the new Christchurch airport terminal opened in 1960. The terminal building, designed by Christchurch-born architect Paul Pascoe, is a timely reminder of the very modern face of New Zealand design. While the building has now been replaced — its sleek and much-needed replacement opened last year — photographs reveal a design that reflected the confidence, optimism and glamour of the time.
My memories of the Christchurch airport are tied up entirely with my grandparents. Of finally seeing Granny after a year or more, and of saying goodbye again. In those innocent days, when passengers and those farewelling them wandered out to the tarmac, I could cling to her legs until the very last minute.